Putting the Garden to Bed

19 Nov

What a beautiful day it has been today ! The weather men promised us snow but here in Warwickshire we had bright sunshine and blue skies !

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Today was a gardening day, so I was well wrapped up with my feet toasty in my new Ilse Jacobsen boots and a suitably tasteless woolly hat!

We had our first frosts this week , so several of the more tender perennials have been blackened, including the dahlias.

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Over the years I have tried all the different ways to try and save my dahlias – digging them up and storing them in a frost free place, tucking them up under a thick duvet of compost, and even just keeping my fingers crossed!

None of these methods have been wholly successful, so this year I have decided to take a slightly different approach.Having removed the blackened stems, leaving a good 20cm of stem -so you can find them again in the spring and carefully labelled them,  I have swaddled the base of my dahlias in a thick mulch of standard compost. this will protect most of them from a reasonable frost although not necessarily a fortnight of snow. Waterlogged soil will also do for them as they will simply rot away.

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This mulching will probably mean at least half of my dahlias will survive. So to keep the numbers up I shall be ordering some rooted cuttings from Halls of Heddon. I have ordered rooted cutting from Halls for the last couple of years and been surprised how big these cuttings get in their first summer and how many flowers they produce – just as good as a plant grown from a dry tuber.

Its one of my favourite jobs deciding which new dahlias to order and  almost impossible deciding which colours !

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2 Responses to “Putting the Garden to Bed”

  1. Donkey Whisperer Farm November 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    This is the hardest time of year for me!

    • Emma Webber December 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      I know it can be hard to find a gap in the weather to get out, but I always think a good day out in November is worth 2 in the summer !!

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